Geosite introduction of Aso

5.Furubochu Geosite

Furubochu Geosite

Volcanic activity and religious belief

Since ancient times Aso has been worshiped as Hi-no-yama, or "fire mountain." According to historic texts, the volcano's oldest temple was established when the religious teacher Saiei brought a statue of the Eleven-faced Kannon to what later became the Furubochu area and enshrined it at Saigandenji Temple. A religious community grew in the area, and from the 14th to 16th centuries 36 monk's residences and 52 hermitages dotted Furubochu. With priests chanting sutras, Buddhist monks sounding conchs into the air, and streams of worshippers praying at the mountain, Aso at the height of this period must have been an magnificent sight.

Related Geo-points


From the Kamakura (1185-1333) to the Muromachi (1392-1573) periods, a several-kilometer-long stretch of plains just west of Mt. Nakadake was lined with 36 monks quarters and 52 hermitages where mountain ascetics practiced. As many historical records note, however, these hermitages suffered repeated damage from the 14th to 16th century, and eventually were abandoned.